The most affordable (and smallest) Lexus in the automaker’s entire lineup, the UX, has been updated with handling improvements and a brand-new infotainment system to keep things fresh for 2023.
The changes made to the UX aren’t enough to warrant a full-model change, but they’re meaningful updates. In the US, it will now only be offered exclusively as a hybrid (UX250h), but the rest of the world will now have two F Sport model grades on offer—F Sport Design and F Sport Handling.
The Design model grade receives the F Sport cosmetics, a black roof with a moonroof and dark roof rails, painted wheel arch molding, rain-sensing wipers, fog and cornering lamps, and automatic headlamp leveling.
The F Sport Handling package adds performance dampers and active variable suspension for enhanced steering feel, stability, and a more comfortable ride. The cabin also gets heated and ventilated F Sport seats, steering wheel, shift knob, pedals, and the LFA-inspired instrument binnacle.
Regardless of the model grade, the UX receives improved handling thanks to improved structural rigidity, retuned electronic power steering, better shock absorbers, and newly developed Bridgestone run-flat tires.
Inside, the cabin now receives the brand-new Lexus Interface (first seen in the new NX) with a natural voice assistant and wireless Apple CarPlay (and wired Android Auto) support. It comes either with a standard eight-inch or optional 12.3-inch infotainment display mounted closer to the driver.
With the omission of the clunky touchpad of the previous Remote Touch interface, controls for the heated and ventilated seats (and the steering wheel) now occupy said space; the wireless charger has been extended vertically and illuminated; and the center console comes with two USB-C ports.
Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 also makes an appearance, with features like a pre-collision system that can detect pedestrians and cyclists in low-light conditions and oncoming vehicles before right turns at intersections. There are also emergency steering assist, lane tracing assist, and dynamic radar cruise control. A 360° camera is also added to the vehicle’s safety suite.
The car also supports digital key functionality, where your smartphone can be used as the, well, key for the car. It can be shared with family and friends even if you’re away from the car, and do things like remotely start the engine.
The new UX is scheduled to launch globally later this year.